Now more than ever, impartiality remains essential for C2G’s efforts

Blog By Janos Pasztor 

C2G’s mission from day one has been to seek to catalyse the development of effective governance for solar radiation modification (SRM) and other climate-altering techniques. There are no comprehensive governance frameworks for SRM, and as the IPCC has stated in its latest report, the lack of robust and formal governance is a risk in itself.  

Based on our team’s experience working over many decades with policymakers in governments, intergovernmental and civil society processes, we understood this would be no easy task. SRM is a controversial technique which, if ever used, would affect every country in the world, though not necessarily equally. We knew it would be essential to reach out to a wide swathe of society and include perspectives from all sides of this issue, and to situate the potential use – or non-use – of SRM in the context of sustainable development.  

Impartiality about whether or not SRM should be deployed has been essential for our ability to speak with all stakeholders and to encourage actors around the world, coming from different generations and with different points of views, including governments, civil society organisations and other non-state actors, to come to the table.  

Unfortunately, there have been some misunderstandings about C2G’s impartial stance in recently published articles, social media, and in some meetings and presentations. We’d like to clear up and correct these misunderstandings.  

Throughout the seven years’ of C2G’s existence, impartiality has been a foundational principle of what we say and do. SRM is a difficult topic, which people of goodwill around the world disagree on. We have never shied away from that debate; in fact, we have actively encouraged it by including a wide range of voices and views in our activities, including C2G’s policy briefs, reports, online learning modules, infographics, panel discussions, webinars, blogs on our website, online interviews, Advisory Group membership, and in-person meetings. To reach a broader global audience, most of C2G’s material is available in four languages. 

Taking an impartial approach has been essential for our ability to speak with actors with different views from governments, civil society organisations and young climate activists around the world. Without it, doors would have closed and discussions ended, whereas our mission is to do to the opposite: to encourage an informed, broad societal discussion that includes many views. 

As C2G begins to get ready to end its work and close down the Initiative in December 2023, a growing number of actors are entering this space, and some are taking action, be it ungoverned commercial launch of aerosols into the atmosphere, calling for or against research on SRM, or a UN report addressing some of the governance gaps. On the whole, as different governance elements appear, stakeholders end up in better positions to understand and eventually to address the gaps. 

In the end, whether one is for, against or unsure about solar radiation modification, comprehensive governance is now needed. C2G’s impartiality has been key to catalysing this process.  

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